10 clever tricks for determining the quality of clothing
It's all happened to us — we've found what looks like a great pair of jeans at the store and buy them right away. However, it soon turns out that the seam is slightly frayed or the zipper doesn't close properly. How frustrating...
We're here to help. Disappointing clothing choices will be a thing of past once you've read the following advice:
1. Thick seam
It's best to pick up the item of clothing and take a closer look at the seam. That's the only way to determine how well the stitching work has been done. It's a good sign when the seam is thick and the stitches are even.
2. Wide hem
Pants and skirts should have a hem that's up to 1 ½ inches in width. The hem on blouses and shirts can be smaller at up to ¾ of an inch.
If there's no hem or the area is simply stitched, you've probably got your hands on a low-quality item of clothing.
3. The same color
This problem usually affects accessories on clothing items. If there are zippers, straps and fastenings that aren't the same color, this could be a sign of cheap clothing. The same applies for faded colors on a handbag.
4. Natural fabrics
Check whether a cotton shirt has been treated with special chemical agents by performing a "squeeze test."
To do so, squeeze the item of clothing tightly for several seconds and see whether it appears crumpled afterwards. If this is the case, the clothing has been treated and will probably start looking shabby after the first wash.
5. Closed zippers
Before purchasing a piece of clothing, try fully closing any zippers on it. If that's not possible, you can put the clothing back where it came from.
Another tip: closed zippers made of metal are generally more reliable than open plastic ones.
6. Keeping its shape
Take an item of clothing that's supposed to be made of stretchable material and tug at it. If the material loses its shape as soon as you let go, it's most probably a low-quality fabric.
7. Zippers match in length
It's quite simple — both sides of the same zipper must be the same length and match in color.
8. Mixed materials
Natural materials such as cotton and silk are much more durable than synthetic ones. However, you need to be careful when washing clothes made of 100% cotton as they could shrink. You may have to avoid machine washing the item of clothing or opt for clothes with 5 to 30% synthetic fabrics. These include viscose, nylon, and polyester.
9. Quality of buttons and buttonholes
Even these small details can throw light on the true value of the clothing. Make sure that the buttonholes are evenly cut through and neatly interlocked.
The buttons should be secured with no threads fraying or sticking out.
10. Uniform design
Check that patterns match and stitches are made with the same color before reaching into your wallet. If these are different, you're probably looking at a cheap item of clothing.
Now that you know these tips, you'll have a better idea of whether the next bargain you see at a clothes store is really worth it. You'll also save a lot of money in the process. Happy shopping!